Benefits at 65…

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Your Benefits – What to expect when you turn 65.

If you were employed with the TFS when the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) was awarded there are a few things to consider as you approach your 65th birthday. To ensure everything transitions smoothly the following should be considered. All of which can be done a month or two before your big day.

The Health Care Savings Account is a benefit allotted to Toronto Fire Fighters as per the 3888 collective agreement. Referred to by some as the Post 65 benefit ($3000.00) it is managed by Greenshields Canada (GSC). When you turn 65 – GSC will move you to the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA). About a month before your 65th birthday you should receive a package from the City of Toronto with information regarding the HCSA.

Under the HCSA you can do one of the following – 

1. – you can submit any coverable claims for you (and your spouse) as they arise to Greenshields who will reimburse you until the $3000.00 is used up.

2. – you can buy a plan to cover the two of you from another provider (like Manulife or MROO) and submit your premium to Greenshields (up to $3000.00).

Many retirees join MROO which provides coverage through VICTOR Insurance.

Through Victor, you can get Health, Dental, Travel insurance, and more. If you enroll within 90 days of the termination of your employer-sponsored benefits, your acceptance is guaranteed. No medical questions will be asked. You can find out more on MROO/Victor by following this link

Whether it’s MROO or another provider, do your homework so you know exactly what you are getting as every provider’s coverage can be very different.

If you have questions about Victor’s coverage you can reach out to Victor Insurance

The OMERS Bridge – Remember the bridge, be as familiar with the Bridge as you can, so there are no surprises. You may have seen some info on the Bridge from attending an OMERS seminar, the research you’ve done, or possibly your MyOmers account if you have one. Around the same time you get the package from the City, you should receive something from OMERS advising you of the bridge ending and how much you can expect your pension will be reduced. Not to worry though, as your Old Age Security should offset a good portion of it.

OLD AGE SECURITY (OAS) – at age 65 you will also start receiving your OAS. For some its automatic others may receive a form from the Federal government. For a little peace of mind, you can always contact them and they will tell you if it will kick in automatically. As mentioned earlier the OAS helps offset the hit from the OMERS Bridge coming off your pension. So it may be nice to know your OAS will kick in almost at the same time. Its ‘almost’ because the Bridge will most likely come off your pension at the beginning of the month and your OAS arrives at the end of the month after your birthday. – OAS CANADA

Canada Pension (CPP) – if you take your CPP at age 60 then you can stop reading. However, if you’ve waited until 65 then this is another thing you may want to make sure is in order so it arrives on time. As with the OAS, you may want to contact Canada Pension to make sure there will be no surprises. You should be able to find out how much you will receive at the end of each month. – CPP Canada

Ontario Drug Benefit – When you turn sixty-five you should also be automatically enrolled in the ODB. Ontario Ministry of Health

There you have it, if the stars have aligned it should be a smooth transition — Happy Birthday!!